Protect Your Kids...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bitter-sweet day today...

 Resonate:  To have an effect or impact beyond that which is immediately apparent.
This might be a little too personal, so forgive me if this post doesn't immediately resonate.

Sometimes life sneaks up on you.  That happened to our family today.

We had just pulled into the gas station to fill up the truck with gas to take the kids to the snow when my wife, Heather, got the call:  Fred (her father) had just died. I recognized the relief in her voice when she told me.  I had the same feeling when my grandma died after a long bout with cancer.

You see, I've known Fred for nearly 20 years.  Fred was nearly 93 years old.  He was blind.  He couldn't hear very well.  He was too weak to walk.  But for the last 7 years or so, he seemed to realize his mortality and had actively tried to present a positive spin on his fate, his relationships, and his new-found dedication to his faith.  And, for the most part, he lived it well.  He always seemed happy to "see" friends and family, and loved talking about his life and times.  Sometimes, he forgot who his audience was (7 and 8 year old grandkids) and maybe disclosed "too much information" for their parents' comfort.  But you could never fault his honesty and enthusiasm to tell a wild story about "the good ol' days".  He was even the answer my then-7 year old son gave to one of our original life lessons on disabilities.  Under the "Know What's Important" section, Mac put Fred down as someone he personally admired for fighting through disabilities and making the folks around him better for simply being around him.  As an adult, I had almost missed out on this 7 year old's insight.  It changed the way I looked at Fred's disposition.

Over the last few months, Fred went downhill quickly.  He started suffering from dimentia, had completely lost he appetite, and was losing more than his fair share of weight.  He became reclusive.  Heather and my daughter had just visited him this last Friday, and she reported that his condition had really started to free fall.  He didn't know his own daughter, and was in many ways just seemed to be waiting to die.  Heather confessed that it would be a blessing if he was "taken home".

So today, it happened.

God bless you, Fred Maecherlein.

You resonate.

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